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SFX inaccuracy



There is one major inaccuracy left in science fiction SFX. Space ships are not equipped with brakes so they have to use their main engines to slow down. Consequently, when arriving at a planet they would back into orbit. Either last thing on arriving or first thing on departing they would have to flip round to point in the correct direction. This definitely applies to Earth Alliance rocket ships; gravity motors as used on the Excalibur may be able to transmit forwards.

Showing spaceships arriving backwards would certainly get the SFX of a show talked about.

Andrew Swallow
SFX = Sound Effects
FX = Effects, but that covers a lot (like physical effects done on the set.)

So just stick to calling it CGI.

You are not entitled to your own opinion. You are only entitled to your own informed opinion.
-- Harlan Ellison qouting Gustave Flaubert
I have often wondered why space ships are always the same way up
Since there is no up or down in space, how is it they always meet on exactly the same plane.

I believe there was one episode where Kosh's ship came through the gate backwards. Does anyone remember which?

I thought there were several.

An Old Egyptian Blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places that you must walk.

Thoughts & prayers to citizens of NY, DC, and to us all.
Yes, Kosh's ship Does come through the gate backwards so that it can decellerate quickly.

Most of the others probably wait a while before flipping over. After all, it's a fairly long trip from B5 to the gate.
They'd wait and slow down closer to the station.

We don't see this because it's BORING.
Hey, everyone, lets watch that Narn park the car. It sure is exciting watching people park cars, isn't it??

As far as manouvering into an Orbit around a planet, it's much simpler to be already going the right speed to make orbit as you approach the planet.
If they do it right, the ships shouldn't need to use their engines at all. Just coast on in.
The planetary gravity well will do all the work.

Yes, I like cats too.
Shall we exchange Recipes?
I do remember it mentioned that Kosh's ship has been seen, more than once, backing out of the jumpgate. I think it is true that this is just one of the details deemed too minor to take valuable screen time.

I wonder how many years before we are watching 30 minutes of show and 30 mintues of commercials!

"I do not believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense,
reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."-- Galileo

[This message has been edited by hypatia (edited September 14, 2001).]
Our ships do not "back in" due to the fact that we must have fwd thrusters to slow us down. Our ships are most effective pointing at the target, not slowing down backwards. I agree with Bakana that it is a waste of time to watch a ship slow to a stop.

As for the ships being upright, this is a horizon alignment system, where is my 9 if you are 30 degrees off from me? This is a communicational aid for combat ships. Remember Sinclair giving the order to his fighters after coming out of the gate to stay in formation? Some of the fighters were rolling, when they arrived, they were aligned. The horizon is defined by a fixed navagational plane as referance, therefore, an EA ship at B5 is sitting at the same angle as one at the Mars transfer point.

Actually, if you think about it, many races probably don't need to flip over. After all, many such as the Vree and Minbari use gravatic drives. But EA, Narn, and other races w/out those should have to.
David Weber does an excellent job with his Honor Harrington series in this matter. But I doubt we ever see it as a TV series or movie. Not only does combat take place with the ships seperated by up to several light-seconds, duels between 2 ships can take days without a shot being fired. Not very good for anything but books.

"It's so embarrassing to have to report your own death." - Miles Vorkosigan

"If old women give him the creeps, maybe he shouldn't have gone into old-woman-ology." -Mike
"A severely retarded jellyfish could make a better movie than this." -Tom Servo.
They might do the deceleration to optimum speed in hyperspace, before coming through the gate.

The Minbari and Centauri have no need for such manouvers. They have artificial gravity. The Vree and Brakiri possibly have artificial gravity as they have no visible external engines.

The Vorlons are an exception among the First Ones - they not only use gravity engines but have additional thrusters to gain extra speed.

The Humans, Narn and Drazi should be familiar with this manouver but don't seem to do it often. They probably have decent forward thrusters or do most of the deceleration at a distance (in hyperspace).

Ships battling each other from light-seconds away would be realistic in the B5 universe. The Moon is about one light-second away and a large ship could be both detected and targeted at such a distance.

Long-range combat would still be considered disadvantageous by Humans -- they would be unable to use their numerous fighters, missiles and plasma weapons. Also, fusion bombs would be useless that far away.

This seems to be why those relying on fighters or having close-range weapons prefer to get "up close and personal" with their confrontations.

[This message has been edited by Lennier (edited September 14, 2001).]
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> The Humans, Narn and Drazi should be familiar with this manouver but don't seem to do it often. They probably have decent forward thrusters or do most of the deceleration at a distance (in hyperspace).


Thrusters to slow down a spaceship from full speed would have to be as big and strong as the main engines. The extra mass would in practice halve the speed of the spaceship; so it is easier to reverse the ship in.

Small thrusters can be used to rotate a spaceship. If cheerleaders look pretty doing a back flip it could be interesting to watch a destroyer doing one.

Andrew Swallow
If it's a pre-planned deceleration they will have plenty of time -- and can therefore use smaller engines.

[This message has been edited by Lennier (edited September 15, 2001).]
I have a vague memory of JMS addressing this in concern to "A Call To Arms". Might have read it at Lurkers Guide cant be sure for certian but will look.


We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

--- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>
If it's a pre-planned deceleration they will have plenty of time -- and can therefore use smaller engines.

On a 2 day journey you spend 1 day getting up to speed and 1 day slowing down. For smaller engines you would end up accelerating for 1 day and decelerating for 10 days. Far simpler just to fly backwards.

Andrew Swallow

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